【原创】重阳夜登高

2014-08-20  戈壁边缘人

Mountaineering is an art. There are different approaches to climbing different mountains. In some tourist destinations, I can see many people march into the mountains in such a haste as if they are going to the market for a dealing. For these people, mountain climbing is of course not an art. It can hardly even be a pleasure. It is a sort of race: they have only one goal in mind and the sole thing they care for is the destination, the top of the mountain. They don’t cease to feel gentle breeze in the mountain, or to listen to the singing flows of the streams, to communicate with gracious being.

Some mountains are to be ascended alone, while some others, preferably with companions. Some calls for elaborate preparations, apparels while some others are to be ascended when you are nearly naked. You climb some mountains to view the spectacular sunrise, while for some others, you wish there would be no sunlight at all. You go to some mountains to see a specific species, while you go to some other mountains just to see a rare bamboo. Some mountains are to be climbed in the broad daytime, while others are to be ascended in the dim moonlight.

North born and north bred, I rarely take the mountain at the back of my campus as a real mountain. It is even exaggerating to call it a hill: it is only about 300 meters in altitude. A hump of earth it is, actually. However, it is one of the best known tourist resorts in this city. That is why I sniffed at the idea when one of my fellows proposed an ascent of the ‘mountain’ in the first week of our arrival here.

Then came the last weekend, he came into my room again:

-It’s the local custom to climb the mountain today. You will be remorseful if you…

-What makes today special, then?

-It’s the Senior’s Day, the Double Ninth Day, as they call in the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

-Gosh, really? Let’s go, then.

It was six o’clock in the afternoon. And it turned out to be my least planned ascent: I only changed into my sports shoes and took a bottle of mineral water with me. There were four of us.

We started out. It was so different from the image of a stereotypical mountain I had conjured up in my mind: it was too artificial. It does not even have the natural and zigzag paths one usually expects to take in the mountains. Actually, there is a highway broad enough to allow two cars to go abreast which leads from the foot to the top of the hill. Of course, some ingredients of the mountain are still there: On both sides, there are trees having grown for dozens or even hundreds of years. There is also no short of trickles of spring water or brooks.

The city is still hot in this season. Most of the tourists were in their summer shorts. It was already dark and the tourists were starting their ascent in twos and threes. Apparently, their trip was better planned than ours. Some of them have balloons of all shapes while others have ornamental bracelets of all fluorescent colors. They were, of course, also armed with food, drinks, cameras and playing cards.

At first, I just took it as a sort of exercise as there seemed nothing appealing. I even took the chance to give some calls back home all along the way, without noticing the views on both sides. As our ascent proceeded, I felt something fascinating and touching in this little mountain. Quite unlike other mountains, this one does not have much to see: no temples, no Buddha, no rare species, no floral attractions. But there were a lot to feel. The fresh air went straight into the heart and tranquilized it. The greenery had the **ell of a peaceful music. Gentle breeze caressed the leaves and our faces. The moon was clear and bright, hanging at the top of the tree and splashing its light through their dense leaves upon the ground. You felt that you were just bathed in the milk-like moonlight.

We took a break on a piece of meadows. There were already dozens of them scattering around. Young fathers and daughters, newly-weds, lovers, university students. They were chasing, singing, playing cards, relaxed and released. Had it not been for the lights from the buildings in the distance, one would feel s/he were right in another dimension of the world. What had seemed to be of the utmost importance in the daytime was thrown out of the mind. There were no struggle for fame and reputation; there were no competition and transaction. One was no longer afflicted with the status and wealth. One was free from the burdens and worries in their work and study. And even the evils were veiled in the beautiful guise of the night. At this time, at this hour, one was integrated with the nature. One was enjoying the offerings that the nature bestows on us. Everyone was joyous. Everyone seems to be the spoiled baby of the nature.

And joys were infectious. We were actually so joyous that it was too late when we realizedthat we were making a detour. There were a shortcut to its top but we took another path, which took us an additional hour to go atop. The climax, of course, is always climactic. The tourists were at the peak of their joys. Everyone poked his/her head beyond the protective makeshift railings to have a good view of the city. They pointed in the direction where their dwellings were. They identified the landmarks of the city outlined and shaped by lights by them. The lovers, they seized the moments to experience the peak of love. The hugs and kisses in this altitude not only witnessed their love, but seemed to perpetuate it as well.

My fellows were still arguing whether the additional detour was worthwhile when we were on our downhill . But I felt far more content than expected. I had all the elements that make a good outdoor trip. Actually, I had privately hoped the trip would last longer.

At the foot of the mountain, throngs of tourists were still swarming into the mountain: they seemed to know better when to start their ascent. When I was back, it was already midnight. all exhausted. After I consulted the tourist directory, I realized that we had walked 20 kilometers in this 300-meter-high “hump of earth”.

Tomorrow would be another day for the more earthly things: going shopping, visiting friends, **iling at your colleague and bowing at your boss: one is back to the world when s/he is back from his or her trip.

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